Page 2 of 3
Can America Survive?
Sorry State Records
Was the cover influenced by the songs, or did you have an idea in mind beforehand?
Justin Betterton (lead guitar): "The cover artwork for the Can America Survive? LP is more thematically related to the songs than literally. A cold image of four tensed chains is what kept coming to mind. The eye has a tendency to want to break things down into thirds. Using four rows of chains is in direct opposition to this. It feels wrong. It makes the viewer hold on to the image longer than he may want to. We all wanted the record to look timeless. We wanted it to look like it could have been released at any time during the existence of punk music. Most of those classic records either have the lyrics or an essay about the band on the back cover. We went with putting lyrics back there. It fits perfectly with the up-front, to-the-point theme."
Jordan Carr (vocals): "When a record comes out on vinyl, it becomes a piece of visual — not just audible — art. Holding an LP is a very tactile experience. It feels more real, more legit. From a band standpoint, putting something out on vinyl is much more of an accomplishment. It takes a lot more effort. When you see a punk band, local or touring, in a basement or at a DIY venue and they have a 7-inch, you instantly know that they care about what they're doing. They care enough to find a pressing plant, make test presses, figure out how to make covers, inserts, etc. Putting a punk record out on vinyl makes you feel like part of a bigger thing. It makes you feel like you really, actually do have a lot in common with the bands you love. The greatest punk bands were just collections of weird kids who got together and put out a record. It's cool to think that you and three of your similarly odd friends can write some songs and press a record, and that you'd be following the same path as the Minutemen.
"I've always just liked holding a record in my hands, reading the inserts, seeing the art printed and in a larger size than you get with a CD or art that comes with MP3s. But more than anything, vinyl is just the best way to listen to punk. Records just have a more powerful and real sound than any digital format. Besides, who listens to CDs anyway?"
Ad Astra Arkestra
The Record Machine
Why the big heads in the art?
Brooke Tuley (multi-instrumentalist and layout): "Big heads beckon you to stare at them. And paint accentuates the deep down — the confusion, confidence, joy and sorrow of it all. Beauty and Tragedy. Destruction and Hope. Wild and Alone. Quiet and Together. They had to sit still for hours."
How was the face paint done?
Danielle Parelman (artist): "The face paint was Mike Tuley's idea. He had seen some prints that I'd had in a show recently that had a heavy use of pattern and texture, so he proposed the idea of me painting Megan [Williams] and Jimmy [Fitzner]'s faces and then having them photographed as the cover for the record. I did paint directly on their faces with water-based paints, and big props to them for being extremely patient, as it took about three hours to do each one. I just had them lie down on a table, and I stood over them to work. Our friends Libby Zanders and Anna St. Louis then arranged lighting and photographed their faces.
"I wasn't playing off the tribal elements of the band specifically. Mike gave me a CD of the album and prompted me to work based off what the record sounded like to me. So I just kind of went from there. I've been friends with members of the Arkestra for many years, so in a way I already had a sense of what they were going for with this project. The band definitely does incorporate a tribal sound into this album as a whole, but they also have an overall psychedelic feel, and I think that's probably more of the direction I took when I was working on this project."